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Inter-Korea summit: The Japanese government on Tuesday appeared bewildered by the just-announced agreement between the two Koreas to hold a summit in late April, as it had warned against easing pressure on North Korea amid a diplomatic thaw with South Korea.

“We must carefully assess whether this will lead North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile development programs…There is no need to ease pressure until it is confirmed that North Korea is going to change its policies,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.

Tokyo is concerned that Pyongyang may be buying time to further develop its nuclear weapons. “We have an impression that things are moving quite enthusiastically,” a government official said, apparently stunned by the growing conciliatory mood after numerous missile tests and other provocations.

“We don’t know if it’s real,” a source close to Japan-South Korea relations said, referring to Seoul’s announcement that North Korea has also voiced a readiness to hold talks with the United States about denuclearization.

The South Korean government said it will send to Japan Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service, to explain the outcome of the talks held in Pyongyang between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and special envoys from South Korea, during which they agreed to hold the inter-Korean summit. Suh was among the envoys. Read more

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Inter-Korea summit: The Japanese government on Tuesday appeared bewildered by the just-announced agreement between the two Koreas to hold a summit in late April, as it had warned against easing pressure on North Korea amid a diplomatic thaw with South Korea.

Inter-Korea summit: The Japanese government on Tuesday appeared bewildered by the just-announced agreement between the two Koreas to hold a summit in late April, as it had warned against easing pressure on North Korea amid a diplomatic thaw with South Korea.